Christmas is a time for parties, celebrations, and, of course, food. As a pregnant mother, you may be feeling a little under with all the things you’re not allowed to eat or drink, but just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself. All you have to do is observe a few simple rules.
These are the foods you should completely avoid:1
✿ While most hard cheeses are okay to eat, stay away from the soft cheeses, like Camembert and Brie. If it has been cooked, then it is okay.
✿ Any dairy that is unpasteurised should be avoided because it could contain listeria which can cross the placenta and infect your baby. While listeria doesn’t cause you much harm, it can be life-threatening to your baby.
✿ Deli meat – the kind of processed meats that are used in lunch sandwiches, such as roast beef and turkey breast – should also be avoided. Like unpasteurised dairy, they could be contaminated with listeria. One way to get around this is to cook it before eating it.
✿ Raw eggs should be avoided because they pose a risk of salmonella. Pregnant women should also be wary of any foods that could contain raw eggs, including Caesar dressings, Hollandaise sauces, mayonnaise, and some custards.
✿ Raw meat, like sashimi, and undercooked meat, like steak, could potentially be contaminated with toxoplasmosis or salmonella and are best avoided. You can still enjoy a steak as long as it’s “well done”.
✿ Alcohol – wine, champagne, cider, eggnog and all the other festive alcoholic drinks – is best avoided because it passes through the placenta and can affect your baby’s development.
These foods can be eaten, but in moderation:
✿ All fish contain traces of mercury, but some more than others. High levels of mercury in the bloodstream can be harmful to your baby’s nervous system so watch out for the fish with high levels of mercury. These are usually the bigger fish, like sharks, swordfish and king mackerels so stay away from them. Smaller fish, like tuna, are okay, but it is still best to limit your intake2.
✿ Caffeine has been on the controversial list for a while, but studies show that 200mg a day is still acceptable3. That is equivalent to a 12 oz cup of coffee. Since caffeine is not only found in coffee, but also in energy drinks, cola and chocolate, watch out for that slice of chocolate pudding.
Supplement with Maternal Milk
Since party foods can sometimes be quite poor nutritionally, don’t forget to top up your nutrient intake with a daily supplement, like Similac Mom®. Just two glasses a day will meet your daily calcium and folic acid requirements. It will also fulfil more than half your extra protein and calorie requisites so that you have will the necessary energy and building blocks to support your baby’s growth.
Additionally, Similac Mom® contains all the essential nutrients for a healthy baby development.Research has shown that adding Similac Mom® to your diet translates to more favourable birth outcomes in both weight and head circumference. This, in turn, has been linked to better health and brain development for your baby.4
Similac Mom is nutritionally complete with low fat content for better weight management. So, you can worry less about putting on too much weight.
Finally, when you take a maternal milk supplement like Similac Mom® during pregnancy, it boosts your breast milk production to help you give your baby the most natural source of nutrition – mother’s milk. Having a good milk supply will make it easier for you to continue breastfeeding your baby.
1.M.S. Harsoliya, J.K. Pathan, N. Khan, S. Jain, S. Wadhwani. Health Sciences: “An International Journal 2011;1(2):16-18 Universal Research Publications. Web. 9 Nov 2017
2. Bloomingdale, Arienne et al. “A Qualitative Study of Fish Consumption during Pregnancy.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 92.5 (2010): 1234–1240. PMC. Web. 27 Oct. 2017.
3 Verena Sengpiel1*, Elisabeth Elind2, Jonas Bacelis1, Staffan Nilsson3, Jakob Grove4, RonnyMyhre5, Margaretha Haugen2, Helle Margrete Meltzer2, Jan Alexander6, Bo Jacobsson1,5 and Anne-Lise Brantsæter 2. Maternal caffeine intake during pregnancy is associated with birth weight but not with gestational length: results from a large prospective observational cohort study. Sengpiel et al. BMC Medicine 2013, 11:42 http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/11/42 Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3606471/
4. Dieu T. T. Huynh, Nga T. Tran, Lam T. Nguyen, Yatin Berde & Yen Ling Low (2017): Impact of maternal nutritional supplementation in conjunction with a breastfeeding support program on breastfeeding performance, birth, and growth outcomes in a Vietnamese population, The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine, DOI: 10.1080/14767058.2017.1320984